women in music

SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE MUSIC SCENE
June 6, 2016 6:03 pm

As if being a woman in the regular world isn’t scary enough, trying to be a respectable woman in the music industry, particularly the indie scene, is exponentially more terrifying. This is not to say men don’t also deal with this same behavior. I’ve watched Lucero’s front man Ben Nichols be assaulted when a fan literally jumped on stage at the Magic Stick/Majestic in Detroit Michigan and tried to kiss him. He politely declined and pushed her away and she clung to him for a good 30 seconds to a minute while other members of the band tried to reason with her to get off the stage. She was clearly inebriated but what difference should that make?

The problem is so consistent it is constantly a trending topic. Women and men who are trying to play their hearts out or just soak in the mystical ache of their favorite artists are usually put in very uncomfortable, if not extremely hostile situations. It is the opposite of what you’d want to hear when you realize your favorite artist is involved.

It is odd to me that so many sexual assaults are musically charged. We all know that there are people of all kinds that use their talents to benefit them in many toxic ways, but the music scene has a way of allowing this to happen far too often. The indie band Speedy Ortiz took safety into their own hands and whipped up a safety text hotline for anyone afraid for their safety. 574-404-SAFE

For fans to use if they found themselves experiencing discrimination or abuse at their shows in a number of ways.

Lead lady: Sadie also states in an Alternative Press interview,

As a musician hired to play these events, I have some amount of privilege: a day-of-show contact; a backstage to retreat to after a frustrating encounter; the ear of security if someone is encroaching upon my safety. But I know what it’s like to be devoid of those resources.

Most women have reported being groped, knocked down, shirts ripped down, hands up their skirts, and cat called just to name a few. Women on stage have even reported fans trying to finger them. That is pretty extreme and quite frankly terrifying to think about. As a woman who both plays music and frequents shows, I’m no stranger to awkward circumstances however these cross a line that I thought, once upon a time, barely existed.

As musicians we put ourselves out there, we bare part of our souls, and the industry tends to sour that for some people because of those who do not respect the scene or their musical peers. These things need to be addressed, and I’m hoping that recent cases are making the conversation more common.

We as Beasts believe that we must all respect each other’s consent and space and sexual assault is never okay. As a feminist crew here we understand that the safety of women in the music scene is vital and something needs to be fought for. We will do anything we can to assure our artists and fans the utmost safety at all of our events.

FESTIVAL HEADLINERS: WHERE ARE THE WOMEN?
February 11, 2016 11:57 am

Since festivals became a thing, there has been a lack of female presence. Recently, I read an article pointing out that there is a major lack in female headliners at a vast majority of festivals. I looked into a few line ups over the years because I’m generally not a huge festival goer…and it’s true. Most if not all of the female headliners are found somewhere in the middle to bottom of the line up list for most major festivals. You know, the fine print. What gives?

Coachella is the president of this club. They have had the same female artist headline two different years and that was the extent of their feminine influence. It’s a tough time to be a musically talented female. It’s harder to get people to take you seriously as an artist when they gawk at you for getting up on stage and having something to say. Music has seemingly always been a male dominated business and this trend proves that it is not the easiest to overcome.

There have always been a plethora of talented stars that are waiting to show their stuff in the limelight of festivals, people like Tegan and Sara, Florence and the Machine, Sia and Lana Del Ray to name a few.  If we want to talk reunion headliners, a Coachella favorite, lets get Alanis Morisette or Fiona Apple up there again. Last year Drake headlined one of the days… you’re telling me Rihanna or MIA couldn’t have drawn as much as he did? Come on.

latitude-festival

This massive hierarchy of the music industry is loud and clear. Women are not given the slot or the credit they deserve and it seems that the ones who are only afforded it because the music industry doesn’t want a push back for being unfair. I think it’s time for things like that to change. It is time for me as a female artist to be able to stand up and genuinely believe that someday I could headline a festival if I have the talent and put all the work into it. Much like any paying job, women are under appreciated and it seems, no matter how high they soar, there is always that glass ceiling.

“If Lily Allen hadn’t stepped up at the last minute to fill in for Two Door Cinema Club’s Friday night headline slot at Latitude in July, there would have been no woman headlining a major music festival this summer.

In fact, without Paramore, the American punk rock band fronted by the flame-haired Haley Williams and Arcade Fire, which featured two women in its Glastonbury line-up, there would be no women gracing major festivals’ main stages in the top slot at all.”

as stated by Alice Vincent in The Telegraph. How sad is that? If Two Door Cinema Club wouldn’t have backed out there would have been no female headliner. This has personally happened to me in Darling and at first I was very excited about the spot until I really thought about he fact that it is not exciting to be a replacement for our male counterpart and only when they’re unable to make it. Then next year, they’re still going to get the call to headline even if they were unreliable and that just sucks.

Any female who has ever tried to thrive in a male dominated environment knows that we have to work twice as hard to make it halfway. It’s, ‘Oh she’s pretty watch her’ but the follow through is never present. We want to change this, what do you think Beasts?